If we're being honest, and I've decided to be, I actually do enjoy talking, sometimes. It does seem as though I can last much longer without social interaction than most people, but that doesn't mean I'm happy when I go without it completely.
In a therapy session a few weeks ago, I discovered that I have a pretty substantial need for approval. It's very rarely not on my mind. My main strategy for avoiding not being approved of is simply rejecting approval altogether. I act as if I could care less about what anyone thinks of me; I shut down.
This is a sort of survival tactic that I developed as a child, and I just haven't managed yet to replace it with something better, healthier. Maybe it protects me from rejection, but it also blocks me from potential acceptance, from relating to or helping someone else. It causes me to go days and weeks without sharing myself. I almost forget how good it feels to have a conversation, to laugh at a joke or, heaven forbid, make one.
I'm not saying that I will ever enjoy small talk. Especially the kind that happens in a break room with an almost-stranger while I'm trying to read. I doubt I will ever find such things appealing. But I am saying that I think I need to find a better balance and I'm not sure where to start.